Last week we saw upon our television in bold letters “ DENMARK LOCKS DOWN ” and it made me feel like the apocalypse was upon us. Many people must have felt the same because that Wednesday evening several citizens rushed to a nearby supermarket to stock on food and toilet paper.
By Dorisilda Killo
All educational institutions are closed, the same goes for libraries. Restaurants, bars, cafes, and gyms are required to shut down. The Danish Government encourages people to work from home or take holiday to stop the virus from spreading.
Breaking news every few minutes on social media “ Denmark closes borders as efforts to fight virus escalated ”, “ Denmark bans groups of more than ten to fight coronavirus ” and as an exchange student far from home I try to get information while remaining calm.
I have talked to my roommates and they insist that the Danes are calm about how things will escalate. In a way, I believe they are right because with the exception of that first day, things look just fine in supermarkets, all selves are full.
But then again, one of my roommates mentioned that her parents told her not to go home when she said that she was thinking of visiting them because they are concerned about the virus. So, it is possible that mainly older people are more afraid of how things are escalating and because of that fear they take strict measures in order to protect themselves.
Walking around in the area I realized that people are very much still in streets despite suggestions that they stay home. Also, from my window I see many citizens walk nearby Børglum Kollegiet every day.
The majority of the Danes may encounter coronavirus calmly, but the government keeps on updating measures to halt the spread. At several Danish grocery chains, stricter measures have been taken to reduce the risk to employees who are asked to keep at least one-meter distance from customers and wear gloves while they work.
At the moment, there are 1057 recorded cases (we cannot be certain of the number of all the people who are positive to the virus) in Denmark. Many of my fellow students have already left or planning to return home soon and I’m here in my room trying to remain positive.
My daily Skype meetings with my family, as my father likes to call them really help me to stay calm and rational. Moreover, talking to my friends from back home always lifts up my mood even when things here get hard. It is very boring to be in this self-quarantine, but at least we are in it together. Not physically, but with the amount of time we spend Skyping and Facetiming each other, it kind of feels that way.
There is an old greek saying “ Ουδέν κακόν αμιγές καλού ” which in english could be translated as in every bad thing that happens, something good comes out of it, or as the english saying goes “every cloud has a silver lining” That’s what is happening in our case. Now I have a lot of free time to focus on spending some quality time with my roommates, reading some books and keeping up with my Watchlist on Netflix.